By 7:00 PM I was in Washburn, WI, and checked into the Royal 8 motel, one of the most bizarre such edifices in the world. The building is on a bluff. If you go southwest fifty yards over a grassy field, the ground drops away to the marina, and then beyond the marina is Lake Superior's Chaquamenon Bay. And how many of the hotel's windows face southwest? Zero. Truly amazing.
I drove up to Byfield before sunset; Byfield is the last outpost of civilization in those parts, and also the jumping off point for the Apostle Islands, and the terminus of the Madelynne Island ferry; it has a real artist colony feel, sort of like Saugatuck. Then I drove back to Ashland and found a Burger King for supper. By the time I got to bed, my stupid foot was in such pain that I was getting tremors in my diaphragm. Grrr.
I woke up at about 5:30, and went out and watched the lake in the false dawn for about a half hour...magical.
Saturday morning my foot was better than Thursday morning, bur worse than Friday morning, so I decided to abandon any plans and head more or less home. I stopped at a boat ramp about two miles east of Ashland, figuring it would be a lonely place with a good view of the lake. It wasn't quite as lonely as I thought, there was almost always a boat there, going in or coming out, but never more than one. I was helping one couple launch their boat-- they were sixtyish, and admitted that this was only their second time out-- when I managed to drop my indoor glasses into the lake. So, "No Swimming" signs not withstanding, I went for a swim. It wasn't awful; I always expect Lake Superior to be bone chilling, but this was in a protected area deep inside a big bay after two (or more) days of near calm, so it wasn't bad. Later in the morning I bribed a campground manager into letting me use his coin operated shower. I was a bit miffed that he didn't bother to make sure I had quarters for the coin mechanism before he sent me back...
Decided to detour up to Black River Harbor, though I never even got all the way across the bridge, just to the place about three=fourths of the way across where we used to jump. Gonna do that again, one of these days... Horrified a few tourists my age and older by telling stories of the fearless young lady who tried all of the local cliff jumps, but couldn't stop herself from screaming every time as soon as she was airborne. I waded into the lake outside the breakwater, and again was pleasantly surprised by the absence of bone biting cold.
Finally headed south about 3 PM, and after a couple meals and general rest stops (and the late development of an exhaust leak into the passenger compartment), I got home at about 2:30 AM, to find that Clueless had had another incident. One or more SKS rounds were fired inside the house; Clueless has a black eye, an injured thumb on one hand and an injured pinkie finger on the other, and the Electric Gnome has a black eye, a minor skull fracture, and a cut on his face. Full details will not be forthcoming, as there were no sane, straight, and sober witnesses. I knew I should have stayed in Wisconsin...